Bug Shots

A closer look at insect photography

Australian Paper Wasp

Posted by Darren on July 5, 2010

This is an example of the Australian Paper Wasp or Common Paper Wasp (Polistes humilis) which are one of the larger native paper wasps found in Australia.  These wasps are social and build large paper nests that are cone shaped and hang from a single stalk.  They are nectar feeders but will also hunt caterpillars to feed to the developing young in the nest.  If you are hoping to photograph this species, look for solitary wasps that are feeding on plants or flowers as they are far more sedate on their own.  Around their nests,  these wasps can be highly aggressive and will agitate easily of you get too close.  If you want to photograph a nest, do it when the light is low as they are less likely to attack.  You will often see large nests around homes, particularly under eaves or on fences.  Generally these nests would be removed before they get too large, but in the bush you can find very large examples with many wasps.  If seen one of these large nests disturbed, and to be attacked be numerous wasps would be a highly unpleasant experience.

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3 Responses to “Australian Paper Wasp”

  1. dreamfalcon said

    wonderful macro!

  2. RP said

    Nice macro shot, sharp image

  3. Darren said

    Hi RP and Dreamfalcon, thanks for the feedback.

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